Apple has an app for everything, we are told. Now there’s even one for annoying countries through stereotypical comments, it seems. And the Italians don’t like it.
Fans of Douglas Adams’ brilliant Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy will recall that Ford Prefect was researching a new entry for the Guide to represent planet Earth. Arthur Dent was appalled to hear that the entry in the old version was simply, “harmless”. And the revised version? “Mostly harmless.”
Now in a case of life imitating art, Apple’s What Country app has annoyed Italian politicians by characterising the nation with a sign reading “Mafia Parking Only. All others will be dealt with.”
It should be noted that the app is not supposed to be taken seriously. It is described on the iTunes website as, “a light- hearted and funny view of the world. This is not a travel guide”.
But Michela Vittoria Brambilla, Italy’s Tourism Minister has called on Apple to withdraw the application, and threatened to take legal action if her demand is not complied with.
Other countries do fare a little better than Italy, it has to be said. It shouldn’t be too difficult to work out which ones are portrayed with these entries:
Tea, weird sense of humour, football hooligans and rain.
Beer, discipline and autobahns
Overpopulation, kung fu, Great Wall, Tibet and tea ceremony
Melting pot, hamburger and the American dream
Apple has refused to comment on the matter. Perhaps they could think of changing Italy’s entry to include a lack of a sense of humour?
Mind you, Steve Jobs might think twice if the Mafia get involved. They might have an app that replaces the desktop picture on your shiny new iPad with one of a severed horse’s head.